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’12 Years a Slave’ Gets Boost From Second Wave of Critics’ Groups

As regional groups continue to chime in, Steve McQueen’s brutal drama has become the runaway critical favorite


When Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” failed to win the best-picture awards voted by the New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association in early December, speculation swirled that the film might not be as formidable a critical favorite as initially thought.

But now that a dozen critics’ groups have weighed in, “12 Years” has quietly become far and away the most-honored film, with eight best-film citations to two for “Her,” one for “American Hustle” and one tie between “Her” and “Gravity.”

The pre-Civil War drama also has a significant lead in best-actor and best-supporting-actress awards, while McQueen is second to “Gravity” director Alfonso Cuaron in best-director honors.

In recent days, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, the Houston Film Critics Society, the Kansas City Film Critics Circle and the African-American Film Critics Association all went for “12 Years,” while Detroit and San Diego groups opted for “Her.”

TheWrap has all of the critics’ awards listings here.

Also read: 2013 Critics’ Awards Winners: The Complete List – SF, Houston, Kansas City (Updated)

In the best-director race, every award has gone to either McQueen or to Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity.” Cuaron has won seven and McQueen four, with one tie between the two.

In best actor citations, Chiwetel Ejiofor has won seven awards for “12 Years a Slave,” compared to one each for Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Forest Whitaker (“The Butler”), Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”), Bruce Dern (“Nebraska”) and Robert Redford (“All Is Lost”).

For best actress, the seven awards and one tie for Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) far outstrip the three for Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”), one for Brie Larson (“Short Term 12”) and one tie between Blanchett and Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”).

Jared Leto of “Dallas Buyers Club” and Lupita Nyong’o of “12 Years” have substantial leads in the supporting races, with James Franco (“Spring Breakers”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle”) a distant second in both categories.